We all know how expensive things are nowadays.
As always, the few things which remain depressed include our wages and our happiness, while everything else seems to be skyrocketing.
Take a look at the statistics from the Economic Intelligence Unit and that will give you a good indication of the cost of living (aka how much your money is worth) in Singapore.Surprised? Regardless, you ought to be concerned unless you are one of those living in the ivory tower.
But fret not, we have compiled some tips to help you stay ahead and beat the cost of living.
1) Open Two Bank Accounts
Yes I know you’ll be asking what the heck for? Having 2 bank accounts serve as a good control system in financial discipline, especially for fresh graduates who have just started working.
Designate one account for saving and one for expenditure. This will make you budget your monthly expenditure on the one hand, and on the other will enhance your awareness on what you are spending on.
Be aware that the bloodsucking bank will expect you to retain a minimum sum in each account (at least $500 per account for the major local banks), otherwise they will impose penalty charges.
But hey, there is no such thing as a free lunch right? Moreover, this will serve as an additional check to rein in your expenses. Give it a try.
2) Take Public Transport
It is no surprise that the biggest contributory factor which made Singapore the most expensive city as ranked by the Economist Intelligence Unit was none other than….the Certificate of Entitlement (COE), a piece of paper you must pay through your nose before you can even buy the car, which of course you must pay through your nose (again).
How much is the COE?
About $50K for below 2,000 cc vehicles on average depending on the bid.
Don’t forget the car will depreciate in value the moment you purchase it. And we have not even factored in other costs such as road tax, ERP charges, car park fees which can be crazy in the business district areas and so forth.
Anyway, what all this means is that if you really to save money in Singapore, buying a car is really not the wisest choice. Better to invest in a bus/MRT guide and go green by taking public transport.
3) Enjoy Nature…Because It’s Free!
The environment has an uncanny effect on how we spend our money.
Shopping malls in particular offer plenty of temptations. Of course you can always window shop but somehow you seem to be missing out on the action, you know what I mean, right?
Anyway, chances are you will be spending on food and beverages, watching the movies and probably something else that fancies your eye, sooner or later. A healthier and more cost effective alternative is to go enjoy the great outdoors.
The best part is that it is usually free. Soak yourself in nature and get to smell the flowers, admire the trees and maybe you can learn a thing or two. Better yet, get your exercise gear and take a stroll or a jog.
4) Catching Your Movies While Minimizing Your Cost
In Singapore the two great pastimes are shopping and watching the movies. Nothing wrong in unwinding yourself and taking a break from all the long hours spent at work, at least once in a while.
Having said that, do capitalize on some money-saving tips during your movie time:
- Watch your favourite movies during the weekdays before 6 pm for cheaper rates. As it is off-peak, you can go ahead and join the queue, buying the tickets straight over the counter to save money on booking charges.
- Leverage upon your credit cards such as POSB, DBS, UOB cards which grant you discounts and other perks to catch your favourite movies.
- If you can wait, why not wait for your movies to be downloaded into Youtube or some other online platforms which offer free viewing?
5) Making Use of the GSS and Online Shopping
The Great Singapore Sale (GSS) starts in the middle of the year usually from June onwards. In fact, the (brick & mortar) retail business is so bad nowadays that it is sale all year long.
Ion Orchard, for instance, seems to be banking on the Pokemon Go craze to lure the crowds back to the shopping mall which at one point became quite quiet because most shoppers went online.
Of course, the naysayers will say the GSS offer brands and stuff from old warehouse stocks in order to clear them for new stock.
But if you are not a fashion fanatic, then buying older clothing should not be a concern… just be a clever bargain hunter and seek to dress yourself in ‘classic’ styles because fashion, as they say will come in full circle.
Another great way to save some money is through online shopping, which is where so many shoppers have now turned to. There are great discounts, loyalty points, freebies and many attractive money-saving offers online.
Do however shop at reputable websites such as strawberry.net which offers value for money and what’s more, it’s conveniently delivered to your doorstep.
Just don’t get too carried away with all the bargains out there and be aware of what you really need, as opposed to buying on impulse.